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NBBF Final 8: Rivers Hoopers Tip-Off With Blow Out Of Niger Potters

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The NBBF President Cup Final 8 served off on Wednesday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, with Rivers Hoopers continuing from where they left off in Ilorin with a 107-53 blowout of Niger Potters in Group A.

The group’s other game saw Civil Defenders earn a walkover victory over Benue Braves who are still expected in Lagos while Raptors edged Nigeria Army Rockets 69-63 and local favourites Lagos Islanders slumped to a 68-78 loss to Kwara Falcons in Group B.

Unbeaten Hoopers were a model of efficiency from the field with 31/36 shots made and a 39.5% shooting percentage from beyond the arc as they extended their winning streak in the tournament to six games.

Buchi Nwaiwu finished with 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and one block coming off the bench.

Emmanuel Balogun added 12 points scoring 4 of 9 from the three point line while Abdul Yahaya and Jackson Enyinna scored 10 points apiece. Enyinna who played his second competitive game for Rivers Hoopers made 5/5 shots in 12 minutes.

At the end of the first quarter, Hoopers were on a 22 point-lead over Potters who looked disjointed and had no answers for the Port Harcourt side on either end of the floor. The gap was extended to 40 points with 4:25 left in the third quarter.

Balogun had shot 3/4 from the deep at half time while Ronald Alalibo contributed 9 points with 3-of-6 from behind the arc as Hoopers shot 10/20 in the first half.

Solomon Ajegbeyi was a point and rebound short of a double-double, making nine points and nine rebounds with six assists and three steals to go with it.

The KingsMen made it a 100 points after Ajegbeyi scored a jumper with 2:05 left on the clock. They then added 7 more points before running down the clock in the last 10 seconds of the game.

Abdul Ibrahim and Samuel Anthony both combined for 23 points for Niger Potters.

An elated Hoopers head coach Ogoh Odaudu said his team’s superiority was mostly due to the fatigue of the Potters side who only got into Lagos in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“I think fatigue was a major factor for Potters because they arrived at 3am this morning. It will be sometime tomorrow before they get their legs back,” Odaudu explained.

Notwithstanding Potters’ tired state, Odaudu said his team was excellent in carrying out the basics.

“We did the little things we were supposed to do. We shot the ball well from the three point line, moved the ball well and ended up scoring above a 100. It is not a test for us and we won’t allow it get to our head.”

Rivers Hoopers next play Benue Braves at 1pm on Thursday as they continue their bid to clinch Nigeria’s sole slot to the inuagural FIBA-NBA Basketball Africa League next year.

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